Alfred Grosser

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Alfred Grosser 2010 in Frankfurt am Main

Alfred Grosser, born February 1, 1925, is a German-French writer, sociologist, and political scientist. He is known for his contributions towards the Franco-German cooperation after World War II and for criticizing Israel.

Early life[edit]

His father, Paul Grosser, was born in 1880 in Berlin and died 1934 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. A director of a child hospital in Frankfurt am Main, socialist, freemason, and Jew, he was forced to immigrate to France in 1933 due to the increasing antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Alfred and his mother were given French citizenship through a decree by the Minister of Justice, Vincent Auriol, in 1937. This prevented them from being interned in a camp in September 1939, when the government of Daladier was perceived as an enemy of the French.

Career[edit]

Alfred Grosser, 1975

Alfred studied political science and the German language. After 1955, he became a professor at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris. In 1965, Grosser began contributing to many newspapers and broadcasts, including La Croix and Ouest-France. He was very involved in improving the Franco-German cooperation, and paved the road for the Élysée Treaty in 1963.[1] In 1992, he retired as the Director of Studies and Research at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques.

Political opinions[edit]

Grosser opposed many Israeli government policies, as well as parts of the French government. When asked to describe the way his statements are received, he referred to the "Moral club" (Moralkeule, as a stick), a phrase coined by writer Martin Walser. In 1998, when one of Walser's speeches created huge controversy, Grosser publicly sided with Walser.

At this I am supporting Martin Walser's idea of the Auschwitz-club [as a stick]. Yes, I see that club, that is waved constantly against Germans when they say something against Israel. When they do so still, then the club says directly: "I hit you with Auschwitz". I find that unbearable. I have always fought anti-Semitism. And I will do it again! But equalizing criticizing Israel with anti-Semitism directly — that is dishonest and leads to mistakes.

—Alfred Grosser, 2007[2]

Grosser also holds to the opinion that Israel's politics inherently invoke anti-semitism.[3] In 2003, Grosser left the board of magazine L’Express because he believed its reporting on the Middle East was unbalanced. He stated that the editor had reluctantly published his positive critique on a book that criticized Israel, while later printing multiple readers' letters attacking Grosser.[4]

Alfred Grosser criticized awarding the Ludwig-Börne-Prize 2007 to Henryk M. Broder through Focus publisher Helmut Markwort, feeling that both were neither worthy of the prize nor the handing in the Paulskirche.[5]

Grosser was invited by the city of Frankfurt to give the main speech at a Kristallnacht commemorative meeting on November 9, 2010 in the Paulskirche. Mayor Roth was criticized for inviting him by members of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and others, but she stood by her invitation.[6][7] They threatened to walk out should Grosser "fail regarding Israel".[8] In the end, the speech was delivered without disturbance.[9][10]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Deutschlandbilanz. Geschichte Deutschlands seit 1945, 1970 (Germany in Our Time- a Political History of the Postwar Years, 1974)
  • Das Bündnis, 1981
  • Versuchte Beeinflussung, 1981
  • Der schmale Grat der Freiheit, 1981
  • Western Alliance V815 (1982, from French)
  • Das Deutschland im Westen, Carl Hanser Verlag, München 1985, ISBN 3-446-12619-8
  • Frankreich und seine Außenpolitik, 1986
  • Mit Deutschen streiten, 1987
  • Mein Deutschland, 1993
  • Deutschland in Europa, 1998
  • Was ich denke., November 2000
  • Wie anders sind die Deutschen?, 2002
  • Wie anders ist Frankreich, 2005
  • Die Früchte ihres Baumes. Ein atheistischer Blick auf die Christen, September 2005
  • Der Begriff Rache ist mir völlig fremd in: Martin Doerry (editor): Nirgendwo und überall zu Haus. Gespräche mit Überlebenden des Holocaust (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt), München 2006 ISBN 3-421-04207-1 (also on CD) pp. 120 – 129
  • Die Frage nach der Leitkultur in: Robertson-von Trotha, Caroline Y. (ed.): Kultur und Gerechtigkeit (= Kulturwissenschaft interdisziplinär/Interdisciplinary Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 2), Baden-Baden 2007, ISBN 978-3-8329-2604-5
  • Von Auschwitz nach Jerusalem (Über Deutschland und Israel), Rowohlt-Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3-498-02515-1

Honours[edit]

In Bad Bergzabern, a school centre was named after him.[14]

Interviews[edit]

Reviews[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin Strickmann, L'Allemagne nouvelle contre l'Allemagne éternelle. Die französischen Intellektuellen und die deutsch-französische Verständigung 1944-1950. Diskurs, Initiativen, Biografien, Peter Lang, Frankfurt/M. 2004. 512pp (German)
  2. ^ "Der Stern" Interview with Hamburger Illustrierten October 21, 2007, Nr. 41. In diesem Punkt stehe ich hinter Martin Walsers Kritik an der Auschwitz-Keule. Ja, ich sehe diese Keule, die ständig gegen Deutsche geschwungen wird, falls sie etwas gegen Israel sagen. Tun sie es trotzdem, sagt die Keule sofort: "Ich schlage dich mit Auschwitz." Ich finde das unerträglich. Ich habe immer gegen Antisemitismus gekämpft. Und ich werde es immer tun! Aber Israelkritik per se mit Antisemitismus gleichzusetzen - das ist falsch und führt in die Irre.
  3. ^ http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/alfred-grosser-israels-politik-foerdert-antisemitismus-600037.html
  4. ^ Warum ich Israel kritisiere, Internationale Politik, February 2007
  5. ^ Beleidigung des Humanismus Falsche Wahl: Henryk M. Broder hat den Börne-Preis nicht verdient, die tageszeitung, 3. Februar 2007
  6. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/0,1518,726836,00.html
  7. ^ http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=194291 JPost
  8. ^ http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6196224,00.html
  9. ^ http://www.fr-online.de/frankfurt/alfred-grosser-in-der-paulskirche/-/1472798/4819526/-/index.html
  10. ^ http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/jewish-critic-of-israel-chosen-to-speak-at-frankfurts-kristallnacht-commemoration/?hp NYT, Nov 8-9, 2010
  11. ^ Text der Laudatio
  12. ^ Homepage
  13. ^ Landeshauptarchiv Speyer
  14. ^ http://www.schulebza.de
  15. ^ From the recapitulation: (Die Kritiker der Einladung) begründeten ihre Ablehnung ... mit Grossers Kritik an der Politik Israels sowie dessen Unterstützung des Schriftstellers Martin Walser. ... Walser hatte anlässlich der Verleihung des Friedenspreises des Deutschen Buchhandels 1998 von der "Moralkeule Auschwitz" gesprochen ...